About My Art: Visionary Experience

Part 1 – How I Became a Painter

I gained insight into the nature of my painting by going back to what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I saw Star Wars in 1977 when I was 7 years old, quite possibly the perfect age to have seen that movie. I spent my whole youth wanting to be a film maker. And 10 years later, in 1987, that’s what I went off to college to try to be. I had to enroll in a freshman arts foundation curriculum, which exposed students to a whole gamut of creative disciplines, like drawing, sculpture, interior design, and commercial art.

It was in these classes I discovered painting. From the first moment I tackled a big surface as a student project I was hooked, although it took a long while and several changes of majors to understand this. But now I’ve been painting seriously since 1991, and it remains as fascinating as ever. I’ve never stopped working at it in all those years.

I’ve found the way to show my vision and tell my stories without needing the resources of a film studio. As I’ve gained comprehension of my art, I’ve been clearer about what it is I do.

I’m showing you stills from the movies in my mind. The possibilities are endless.

Richard Bledsoe “Gentlemen Astronomers” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″

Part 2 – Where Do I Get My Ideas

I am an intuitive artist, working not from observation but from visions that arise in my mind. The potential subject matter is limited only by the freedom of imagination, my capacity to comprehend what is presented to me, and the skill I have to render it visible.

I am not after a naturalistic recreation of the world. Painting is a dream world, and requires its own particular forms of creation. Its beauty transcends realism.

Other artists might work in the great traditions of landscape, still life, portraiture, or figurative painting. The visions I present are a blend of all these different explorations into a single unified image.

I’m sort of a mutant form of a history painter, the genre once considered the highest form in the hierarchy of Western art, but much neglected in the modern and contemporary art worlds.

The difference is story telling. Rather than make a detached work of art for art sake’s, emphasizing merely formal concerns, history painting depicts a moment of drama. It shows action arrested for contemplation, rich in implications of past, present, and future activity. It injects the element of time, suggests consequences and resolutions are pending, and extends the liveliness of the art beyond the edges of the canvas.

In my book Remodern America, I described how the images come to me:

I can sum up my art with one simple statement: The Good Lord told me to show you this.

I have visions. They come at the most random times. I could be washing the dishes, or driving to work, and suddenly the picture is there. It usually arrives now with a title, dimensions and suggestions for technique.

These visions tend to come in waves, or clusters. I’ll receive multiple suggestions over a few days or weeks, then experience a lull which can last weeks or months.

I maintain a notebook where I jot down the ideas so I don’t lose them; usually the title and a one line description is enough to recall the intact image to my mind. The book has hundreds of entries already. I will never live long enough to paint out all the pictures that have been presented to me, and new visions keep arriving all the time. I have to prioritize…

Like in a dream, the imagery is full of symbolism. The specific details shown are significant, though like in a dream it’s not always obvious, and not clear cut. There are nuances and connotations and above all, the final wordless mystery.

As I work on the paintings, I come to interpret them. Patrons will often share insights with me on my works as well, telling me meanings that I didn’t even realize, but which become clear once indicated.

Such is the seductive beauty of symbolic expression; even when manifesting universal archetypes, a symbol caresses the spectator in an intimate manner. While symbols can communicate concepts shared in common, each person experiences the thrill of recognition in a unique way, different as fingerprints.

Symbols give hints. They gesture. If you follow their indications, you find yourself gazing upon the unknowable complexity and profundity of existence.

I no longer work from preparatory drawings or grids. I create the images by painting them directly out on the canvases. While working on the paintings, the most effective results happen when I’ve become so absorbed in the process that I’m aware of nothing else. In fact, it’s like I’m aware of nothing at all.

 I vanish while my paintings get applied to the canvas. I have the continuous experience of stepping back from the work to see it, and it’s like I’m stepping out of a trance. I’m constantly surprised by what I see has appeared on the painting, because I have no memory of doing it. Turning myself over to this receptive state allows something beyond my own capacities to take over. My best achievements are works done through me, rather than by me.

-Richard Bledsoe

From Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization (2018)

Richard Bledsoe “Mothman” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Unseen Artist Eric Tucker

Art world links which caught my eye…

So much talent out there which does not participate in the corrupted, virtue signaling, Postmodern absurdity of establishment art.

Key quote from the article:

Tucker was a boxer and construction worker in Warrington. And though few knew it, he was also a prolific, self-taught artist whose paintings depicted a lost, industrial era. Before he died in 2018 at the age of 86, family members discovered a trove of about 400 canvases, the best of which are now on display here.

Tucker spent his days in the front parlor of his home, painting the working-class world he knew: Boisterous pubs where people played piano and sang. Neighborhoods of terraced houses — the English equivalent of row homes — where men played cricket in empty lots against a skyline of belching smokestacks. It was a communal way of life that disappeared with Warrington’s factories.

See the full article here: NPR – ‘Unseen Artist’ Eric Tucker Spent Decades Painting — But Nobody Knew

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Ancient cave painters may have been stoned, study says

main article image

Nothing new under the sun…

See the full article here: SALON – Ancient cave painters may have been stoned, study says

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Get to Know Raphael in 7 Artworks

Art world links which caught my eye…

Portrait of Pope Julius II - Wikipedia

Raphael “Portrait of Pope Julius II” 1511

Seven images from the vibrant Old Master.

See the article here: ART & OBJECT – Get to Know Raphael in 7 Artworks

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: OLD PAINTBRUSHES AND THE ART OF SPLINTERS

Art world links which caught my eye…

Reblogged from Michele Bledsoe’s blog The Secret Kingdom

My wife was so enraptured by painting, she was playing through the pain.

A Splintery Work in Progress by Michele Bledsoe

.

I had been painting for quite a while

before I reluctantly acknowledged

the sharp, needle-like pain

at the base of my thumb.

I poked at it a couple of times..

Yup. It hurt..

and I started painting again.

Eventually, I realized it was a splinter

from one of my favorite

worn-out old paintbrushes.

After my husband removed it..

I picked up my splintery brush

and got back to work.

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: New Painting “Thought Bubble”

Art world links which caught my eye…

Richard Bledsoe “Thought Bubble” acrylic on canvas 16″ x 12″

One of my recently completed paintings. I have been inspired to create a series of invented portraits, letting the painting process reveal characters to me. Once suggested, it becomes my role to realize the vision I was shown.

I no longer work from preparatory drawings or grids. I create the
images by painting them directly out on the canvases. While working
on the paintings, the most effective results happen when I’ve become
so absorbed in the process that I’m aware of nothing else. In fact, it’s
like I’m aware of nothing at all.

-Richard Bledsoe, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization

Previous Works:

Man of Bronze

Listening

Overlook

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

DAILY ART FIX: Greg Hildebrandt Interview-Famous ‘Star Wars’ Poster was Created in 36 Hours

Art world links which caught my eye…

SW poster

 Artist Greg Hildebrandt talks about his career, and how Fox Studios ripped him off on the creation of an iconic movie image.

See the full article here: SLASHFILM – This Famous ‘Star Wars’ Poster Was Created in Just 36 Hours

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Stuck in Covid-A Stuckist Virtual Art Exhibit

May be art of one or more people and text

An online exhibit of Stuckist artists regarding the WooHoo Flu. Michele Bledsoe and I contributed works.

See the show here: The Forest Hill Stuckists

Read about the founding of the Stuckist art movement here: ARTISTS: Charles Thomson is Stuck in the Remodern

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: New Painting “Rex”

Art world links which caught my eye…

Richard Bledsoe “Rex” acrylic on canvas 24″ x 30″

I work from visions I receive. Since my earliest artistic fascinations were linked to dinosaurs, they often appear in my paintings as powerful symbols.

**************

I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!